- Easier - An
earthquake makes the ground move or shake. These
natural events can cause massive damage and
destruction. The study of earthquakes is called
- Harder - An
earthquake is caused by sudden, violent shifting of
massive rocks called plates under the earth's
surface. This movement of the plates releases
stress that accumulates along geologic faults. A
fault is a deep crack that marks the boundary
between two of these plates. Earthquake belts occur
along faults around the world. Many run along
coastal areas. The San Andreas fault in central
California is well-known for causing severe
- The epicenter is the point on the surface where
the earthquake is the strongest. The Richter scale
is used to measure the amount of energy released by
the earthquake. The severity of an earthquake runs
from 0 to 9 on this scale. Small tremors occur
constantly, but every few months a major earthquake
occurs somewhere in the world. Scientists are
researching ways to predict earthquakes, but their
predictions are not always accurate.
Earthquake Information Center (Dept. of the
Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Golden, Colorado)
- NEIS has three main missions: to determine
as rapidly and as accurately as possible the
location and size of all destructive earthquakes
that occur worldwide, collect and provide to
scientists and the public an extensive seismic
database that serves as a solid foundation for
scientific research, and pursue an active
research program to improve the ability to
locate and understand earthquakes. Use General
Earthquake information for background
- Other USGS Earthquake Sites:
- 2) Earthquake Information: Reducing Hazards
- 3) Earthquakes by Kaye M. Shedlock &
Louis C. Pakiser http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/earthq1/
- 4) Earthquakes and Plate Tectonics http://wwwneic.cr.usgs.gov/neis/plate_tectonics/rift_man.html
- 5) Response to an Urban Earthquake http://geohazards.cr.usgs.gov/northridge/norpub1.htm
- 6) Quick Access to Earthquake Info from All
The Networks http://quake.wr.usgs.gov/QUAKES/CURRENT/quicklook.html
- 7) The San Andreas Fault by Sandra S. Schulz
and Robert E. Wallace http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/earthq3/
- 8) Severity of an Earthquake http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/earthq4/severitygip.html
Restless Planet: Earthquakes
- Learn about earthquakes including basic
information, earthquake prediction, and
engineering buildings for earthquakes. Be sure
to check out the animations and QuickTime
- Other Basic Earthquake Information
- 2) About Earthquakes (Univ. of Nevada -
- Not To Be Missed Section:
- 3) Plate Tectonics, the Cause of Earthquakes
- 4) Tech: Earthquakes
- 5) Terrible Power of Earthquakes
You Ready for an Earthquake? at American
- Here's what you can do to prepare for such
- For More Preparedness Information, See
- 2) Earthquake Hazards and Preparedness
- 3) Earthquake Home Preparedness Guide
- 4) Fact Sheet: Earthquakes from Federal
Emergency Management Agency http://www.fema.gov/library/quakef.htm
- 5) Get Ready http://www.kron.com/specials/89quake/get.html
- 6) On Shaky Ground: Living with Earthquakes
on the North Coast (Humboldt University)
- 7) Putting Down Roots in EarthQuake
Along the Faultline from The Exploratorium.
- Here you can investigate life along the
fault lines of California, the science of
earthquakes, building safe structures, and
remember the infamous Loma Prieta and 1906 San
- After visiting several of the
websites, complete one or more of these
- Write a Special Edition. Write
a fictional newspaper article or script
for a TV report about an earthquake in
your town. What is the magnitude of the
earthquake? Include a map showing the
- Be an Earthquake Predictor.
Create a map of North America or the
world. Find out whether you're likely to
have an earthquake in your area. Identify
those areas where you think there are
likely to be earthquakes. Compare your map
with others. Defend your choices. Use the
Louis Center, MidAmerican
Earthquakes, and Putting
Down Roots for ideas about earthquakes
in the US. Explore the java page showing
the earthquakes in the world.
Consider using ArcData
for your map making and exploration.
- Take a Virtual Tour. Take a
virtual tour of one of the following
fault, and Kentucky
River fault. Create a virtual tour of
- Make a Prediction. Learn about
Earthquakes. Read the article,
Quake Likely, to learn about the
probability of another earthquake in San
Francisco. When do you think the next
earthquake will occur? Defend your answer.
Hold a debate.
- Be a Listener. Listen to the
of earthquakes. Compare these sounds
to other sounds in nature.
- Make a Myth Game. Read the
Earthquake Myths page. Create a myth
game to help people learn the facts about
earthquakes. Or, create a myth poster to
help people overcome common myths about
- Make a Chart. Keep a chart of
recent earthquake activity using Today's
Earthquake Activity Around the World,
Monitor, or Record
of the Day
- Write about an Earthquake
Scientist. Read about measuring
earthquakes and the
severity of earthquakes. Learn about
Richter. Why was his contribution so
important? Write a paragraph about Richter
and his invention.
- Be a Model Maker. Learn
the Earth Shakes. Create a model
showing how an earthquake works. Use
EarthQuakes Occur for ideas.
- Build a Safer Building. During
the past century many advances have been
made in architecture to make buildings
more safe. In high earthquake areas, laws
require special building construction.
Compare the structure of a building in
1900 to one built in 2000. How has it
changed? Show the comparison on a poster.
Or, create your own design for a safer
building. Use the Building
for the Big One, Anatomy
of a Safe House, Earthquakes
and Housing, and Building
Safer Structures, site for ideas.
- Build a San Francisco Scrapbook.
Read the book
Dragonwings by Laurence Yep.
It is set during the San Francisco
earthquake of 1906. Learn about the San
Francisco earthquake at the Museum
of San Francisco, San
Francisco History. Create a scrapbook
of information, photos, timelines, charts,
and other resources that help tell the
story of the earthquake.
- Explore a Historical Earthquake.
in History. Then read about a
historical earthquake at Earthquake
Photographs or Central
US Earthquake History. Write a story
set on the day of one of these
earthquakes. Include facts from the
- Prepare for Earthquakes. Read
Earthquake Terror by Peg
Kehret or One
Boy's Experience. Are you prepared for
an earthquake? What do you need to do to
be prepared? Make a list of items to have
available all the time for an emergency.
Create a brochure on earthquake
preparation. Use Hazards
and Preparedness, Home
Safe Home, Earthquake
Home Preparedness Guide,
Information on Safety, or Earthquake
Safety for ideas.
- Try EarthQuake Activities. Try
a quiz and crossword puzzle at the
and a quiz at Understanding
- Hold an EarthQuake Science
Fair. Explore the Seismology
at the Science Fair website. Look at
the science projects and design your own.
- Create a Seismogram. Go to
Your Own Seismogram! or Build
Your Own Seismograph and fill out the
form specifying a seismogram from the
station and channel of your choice. Read
the instructions carefully. Limit your
request to a 24 hour period.
- Keep an Earthquake Record.
Learn about Earthquakes
and Plate Tectonics. Follow the
directions found at Today's
Earthquake Activity Around the World
(Athena) to print out a map and record the
location of earthquakes for an extended
period of time. Then compare your
earthquake locations with the boundaries
of the major tectonic plates of the
- Try the Virtual Earthquake.
Follow the directions at the Virtual
Earthquake website to do an earthquake
- Complete a QuakeQuest. Adapt or
follow the instructions found at one of
these earthquake WebQuests.
- 1) Are You Ready for the "Big One"?
(Grades 6-9) http://www.aps.edu/aps/Sw_depart/~cook/EarthquakeWQ.htm
- 2) Earthquake http://students.itec.sfsu.edu/ITEC815/copi/815project.html
- 3) Earthquake (Grade 6) http://volweb.utk.edu/Schools/bedford/harrisms/earthquake.htm
- 4) Earthquakes! by Michael J.
- 5) Earthquakes in Illinois? (Grades
- 6) Earthquakes Web Quest by Marjean
- 7) Epicenter, That Rockin' Town by
Tim Harazin (Grades 4-6) http://www.fcps.k12.va.us/AldrinES/sites/earthqua/index.htm
- 8) Kobe Earthquake http://www.kodiak.k12.ak.us/schools/pete/teachers/gibbs/earthquake/kobe/kobe.html
- 9) Measuring Earthquakes by Caro,
Denise and Vero http://www.cqsb.qc.ca/docs/webquest/quake.htm
- 10) Mexico City Earthquake
- 11) Seismic Watch by Jim Stalker
(Earthquakes and Volcanoes) http://tsc.k12.in.us/stucurr/webquests/seismic/stalker.htm
- Websites By Kids For Kids
Crust (1997 Internet Challenge)
- Explore the anatomy of the planet, the
theory of plate tectonics, and continental
Earthquake Reports at Athena
- Here are reports of the Duvall Earthquake of
May 2, 1996, submitted by students in
- Explore a project created by children at
A Child's View
- An online alphabet book on earthquakes.
A Catastrophe (2000 Internet Challenge)
- This site provides comprehensive and
technical information on earthquakes, like why
and how do they occur, how are they measured and
what are their various consequences.
- The Terror From Below (1998 Internet
- Know how to prepare for an earthquake in
order to prevent damage and injuries. Learn what
you need to create a personal survival kit.
Discover how buildings can be constructed to be
more earthquake-resistant. The means of
earthquake detection are explained (seismograph,
Richter scale), and predictive strategies are
Volcanoes, and More (1999 ThinkQuest Junior
- This site examines earthquakes, volcanos,
faults, stress, and more.
of Mother Nature (1998 ThinkQuest Internet
- Earthquakes! Find out the causes of
earthquakes, how they are detected, and their
often devastating effects.
Divide-A Study of Continental Drift (1996
ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
- Here you'll find a history of the
continental drift, the scientists involved, and
an extensive section on earthquakes: where and
why they occur, photographs of recent earthquake
disasters, and links to other related
Beneath (1999 Internet Challenge)
- This site is about plate tectonics and the
resultant landforms of tectonic processes.
and Shakers (1998 Internet Challenge)
- The world under our feet has been slowly
moving and changing for millions of years. This
site tells about the theory of plate tectonics.
Earthquakes and volcanoes are both caused by the
movement of large portions of the earth's
Tectonics: The Worst Natural Disasters!
(2000 ThinkQuest Junior Project)
- Here you can learn about earthquakes,
tsunamis, and volcanoes.
Tectonics Online (1998 Internet Challenge)
- Learn of the theory of how the continents
are formed. This site explains the Earth's
layers, the development of the plate tectonic
theory, and the theories of continental drift
and sea floor spreading.
Of The Earth (1998 Internet Challenge)
- This project site focusses on plate
tectonics, demonstrates earthquakes of different
magnitudes on the Richter scale, and includes a
puzzle on volcanoes, tsunamis, and land
Beneath the Crust (1999 Internet Challenge)
- This site has information, graphs, and
photos about earthquakes plus links to other
- Lots More Sites
© : Earthquakes and Seismology (Univ.
- This ask-an-expert site can be used
following these guidelines. They do no answer
overly general questions or questions by
students trying to avoid normal studying or
library research (i.e., they will not do your
homework or provide "last-minute" information
for class exams). Each request is answered by a
real live person; therefore, it may take a few
weeks to get a reply.
Center at the Dept. of Earth &
Atmospheric Sciences, St. Louis University
- This location has central U.S. earthquake
history and current activity (New Madrid
- This site provides background information
about earthquakes. It also discusses basic
terminology and earthquake history.
- Each of the links at
this site will enhance your knowledge of
earthquakes ranging from seismic vocabulary to
famous earthquakes from around the
- Another Earthquake
- 2) Earthquake
and Maryland by James P. Reger
- This site provides general background
information about earthquakes, followed by the
history of earthquakes in Maryland.
The Rolling Earth
- Explore basic information about
the Damage: Using the Richter and Mercali
- The Richter Scale measures the energy of an
earthquake by determining the size of the
greatest vibrations. The Mercali Scale measures
an earthquake according to the observable
results or effects the damage caused, the
sensations described by people.
- This site has earthquake locations and
accounts, explains how they occur, a history of
seismology, an earthquake quiz, and links to
Earthquake (California State University)
- Locate the epicenter of an earthquake to
become a "Virtual Seismologist"! Careful
measuring is involved here, therefore, this site
is recommended for intermediate/senior students
who crave a challenging project.
Earthquake Locator: Global Earthquake
Report (University of Edinburgh)
- This site monitors earthquake activity
around the world.
- Websites for Teachers
Internet Lesson: Earthquake!
- Explore student activities and earthquake
the Rubble of Ruined Cities
- This lesson focuses on the devastation of
earthquakes. Specifically the students develop
and propose solutions to rebuild various
elements of Colombia's infrastructure in the
wake of the January 25, 1999 earthquake.
Trouble in Earthquake Country
- Students use on-line earthquake hazard maps
and other resources to assess hazards associated
with hypothetical earthquakes of various
- This lesson goes with the book DragonWing
which is set during the 1906 San Francisco
- Students visit earthquake websites and
- Try lessons related to the following topics:
Building Your Own Seismograph, Can You Read a
Quake?, Race of the Waves, Where Did It Hit?,
Shadows from the Core, and Prediction or
- This lesson focuses on earthquakes and
at Newton's Apple
- This teacher's guide provides background
information on earthquakes and activity
suggestions for building a shake tray to test
models of buildings.
Before and After
- Learn about the physical changes caused by
of the World
- In this lesson, students use real-world data
to analyze earthquakes.
- Students work in groups to make a television
report on earthquakes.
A Model of Three Faults (Grade 7-12) at the
U.S. Geological Survey Lesson Plans
- Students build a model and analyze real
world data about three different faults to
better understand how and why earthquakes
- Explore terminology related to earthquakes
and learn about the Turkish earthquake.
- In this project, students use realtime
earthquake and volcano data from the Internet to
explore the relationship between earthquakes,
volcanoes and plate tectonics.
- Try some earthquake experiments.
- Use real-world data and plot the location of
earthquakes (high school level).
the Teacher... Earthquake Lessons
- Explore a series of lessons for teachers on
the topic of earthquakes.
- Created by